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Frustrated and need advice please

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Let me start off with saying thank you for the wealth of knowledge that all you people have posted here and made available.
I made an account just to post this because I am at a loss with what to do at this point. I am feeling a little defeated and aggravated, to say the least.

So.. I brought my car ( 2017 VW GTI)  in to the only 3M crystalline preferred dealer within almost 200 miles. I live in MA. I drove 2 hours to get to this place. I did so because I have my heart set on CR all around. They are the only game in town, and I was quoted $600 for windows and $330 for windshield. My wallet hurts but if everything came out kosher I would have been glad to pay it.

WELL It’s been madness since then:

First time (a Saturday) they did the tint, there was a swirled what looked to be a pube under the tint directly in my line of vision on the windshield. They said it was just a bubble so I gave it a few days and it in fact was not. There were some “squished” sections from applying pressure before the layers collapsed after 5-10 seconds, and some hazing.  I started looking at this site to get answers of if that was acceptable. Their policy is 100% satisfaction, so they say.. I book the appointment 2 days later to come in and get it redone


Second time around (weekday, take time off work and drive 2 hours) it comes out almost perfect, there was a tiny bit of hazing in the corner passenger side, and a tiny bit of the squishing on the bottom passenger side, a slight slice mark where he must have pushed too hard with hardcard and scratched it but it was out of my vision. I wait the 30 days and about two weeks in I see this matrix of white hazey “smudges” in the shape of what looks like water drops like you wiped a window with a wet cloth and it dried. Except it was under the tint. At night with headlights it is ALL I CAN SEE.

Third time (weekday, take time off work and drive 2 hours) it has terrible crystallization from being overworked while still too hot, it has smudging in a few areas and there is a hair under it. They said give it a few weeks and the crystalizing and smudges will go away(they didn’t). I wanted to give it enough time to humor them, however on week 2 the matrix of dots came back this time in a different pattern and density. I look at the rest of the windows, and they ALL have it in different patterns but aren’t as noticeable because the tint is darker and I am not staring directly through it when there is bright light on the other side of the glass like I am with the windshield.


The most recent time they had to special arrange me to come in on a Saturday. I was eating up my vacation time and the cost in gas having to drive 4 hours round trip to get this redone over and over has made this $330 tint more like a $600 disaster. When I first get there, they pressure me to let them put ceramic 50 on it instead. This is against their policy to change shade or tint line. I decline, because 70 is the darkest I am willing to go, I don’t want to mix n’ match and I came here for crystalline. I could have gone ANYWHERE for ceramic 50 on it. They keep trying at it to get me to change my mind until I said absolutely not. The tinter said his boss the owner will only let him do it in CR70 one more time. I say to the tinter that if it happens again, I will just have to find another place to do the windshield.

Here is where I need a sanity check…This time, for the first time the tinter left a 3m logo on the tint, and purposefully pointed it out which I thought was odd. I get in the car, the tint is almost TOO good. No haze, no slices, no distortion at the bottom near the vents, no crystal smudge, and most importantly to me (because it was the same single person who did it each time) none of the signature mistakes associated with the difficulty of installing a 200-layer film… It feels a little darker but I tell myself I am just imagining it. I get the car home and get out to look at it in the sunlight.. it looks flat charcoal. None of that strange rainbowish I was used to with every other install. I wait 4 days, telling myself that it is going to start having that rainbow hue, I just need to find it. I wash the car, all the windows reflect rainbows through the water droplettes, except the windshield. I take a picture of each window at every angle while it’s wet and while it’s dry, with the flash and without the flash, sunlight or night time, close or distant. I can’t get that gentle almost flowing rainbow that all the other windows give me. I even have pictures of the first and second application of the windshield with an unmistakable rainbow. I think they didn’t put crystalline on it. I think it’s some other 3M film and are betting on me not noticing or thinking I am imagining it. 


On one hand; don't know if you would call it empathy but I see the negative motivators and potential reasons to stray from their code of ethics, perhaps do something deceitful. On the other hand the tinter talked to me at length and knows I detail the car each weekend and see every miniscule thing. The tinter is the only one certified there for Crystalline and we got to know each other as you can imagine because I would hang out and chat about stuff before and after the car was re-tinted. I want to say it wasn't his decision, and that it was his Boss', but he also started pressuring doing it in ceramic on the third time.

 Every review they have that states a similar issue with install is greeted with the "bring it in, your satisfaction is our priority" response. A couple reviews say that they will only refund the arbitrarily decided cost of materials. In this case that would be $100 the first install... When in reality it cost me a day's vacation hours and about another $150 in gas, neverminded the headache. I have literally lost sleep over this… I don’t know what to do guys. What would you do? PLEASE ADVISE!?


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14 hours ago, Golf983 said:

Call and tell the manager your concerns that it’s not crystalline they installed. I wouldn’t let them do it again though, I would have them remove it and refund. I think the only way to prove it’s not crystalline, is to remove and send a small sample of it to 3m

To further complicate it, the crystalline certified tinter i am referring to is also the manager. The only person above him is the owner.. 

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5 hours ago, Desolo said:


To further complicate it, the crystalline certified tinter i am referring to is also the manager. The only person above him is the owner.. 


be honest with him and tell him it doesn’t look like crystalline but another 3m film. Doesn’t have the same qualities, get it removed and refunded. I wouldn’t let him touch my windshield again. Find a better installer even if you have to drive more than two hours or pick a different film 

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  • 2 weeks later...

interesting to read the customers perspective on situations like this. 3m crystalline is notoriously difficult to install, your windshield might just be that get right after 5 attempts piece of glass. considering the cost of materials it sounds like the shop doesn't want to keep wasting film, thus the previous subpar installs.

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